When Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice was announced during E3 2018, we all naturally assumed it would be Dark Souls in Japan, but a recent preview from PC Gamer reveals that FromSoftware's latest game is pretty far removed from what we've come to expect.
The publication was present during a press-only demonstration led by Yasuhiro Kitao. It reports that Sekiro was described as an action adventure game rather than an RPG; there are no classes, no stats, and no alternative weapons or armour. The death system is entirely different as well. Instead of returning to a checkpoint, you'll be able to instantly revive yourself to strike back. Enemies will return to what they were doing before their battle with you, meaning this second go allows you to catch them by surprise.
It also sounds like you won't be creating a custom character. You play as a shinobi who is tasked with protecting an important figure, but a samurai attacks, cutting off your left arm and kidnapping the lord. While you'll always hold a katana in your right hand, your prosthetic arm is where variety is brought into play. It can be swapped out for various different attachments and gadgets, such as a shield, a torch, or a powerful axe. Combining different tools with your sword can lead to some useful combat techniques, such as adding fire damage to your sword with the torch.
Combat sounds interestsing, too: "While there's still HP, combat revolves around 'posture.' When you attack an enemy, they'll easily block your attack but will lose posture each time. Once lowered enough, they'll be open to a gory finishing move, but the same goes for you. As enemies attack, blocking lowers your posture unless you block perfectly (similar to parrying in Dark Souls). With a perfect block you'll actually throw the enemy off balance and lower their posture instead."
There's much more information through here, and it's well worth a read if you were expecting Sekiro to be another straightforward Soulsborne game. A dedicated jump button, stealth mechanics, and more point to this game pushing for a more action-focused experience, although the interconnected world, fearsome bosses, and tense combat are still very much included.
Do you like the sound of the changes being made to Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, or would you have preferred Dark Souls: Japan Edition? Grapple hook down to the comments below.